Feeds

Internet Explorer tracks cursor even when minimised

Keep calm: it’s only being exploited by adware blood-suckers ... probably

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

A security researcher has published yet another reason not to use Internet Explorer for anything, under any circumstances: it can track your mouse cursor movements, even when it’s minimised.

Affecting all versions newer than IE 6.0, and with no plans for a fix by Microsoft, the bug is demonstrated here (not being an IE user, this El Reg hack hasn’t tested the game).

As the notice from spider.io states, the exploit “compromises the security of virtual keyboards and virtual keypads” – often used as a “secure” login that defeats keyloggers.

“An attacker can get access to your mouse movements simply by buying a display ad slot on any webpage you visit,” the company writes. “The vulnerability is already being exploited by at least two display ad analytics companies across billions of webpage impressions each month. As long as the page with the exploitative advertiser’s ad stays open—even if you push the page to a background tab or, indeed, even if you minimise Internet Explorer—your mouse cursor can be tracked across your entire display.”

The 21-lines-of-code exploit posted by spider.io demonstrates that JavaScript in any Webpage, or any iframe, can poll for the position of the mouse cursor via fireEvent(), because IE “populates the global Event object with some attributes relating to mouse events, even in situations where it should not”.

The Register wouldn't anticipate a fix in a hurry, since the fix would devalue a couple of billion ad-clicks. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.